Sept. 2, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
Sophomore forward Morgan Dankanich (Glenmoore, Pa.) and junior forward Ashlynn Soellner (Hollidaysburg, Pa.) each scored two goals to lead Navy past North Florida, 5-3, in a high-scoring affair on Sunday at Hodges Stadium. Navy improves to 5-1 with its fifth straight win and the North Florida Ospreys fall to 2-4. The Mids also finish their first road trip of the year with a 2-0 mark after also defeating Jacksonville, 2-1, on Friday.
Sunday's game started in a downpour and after just 13 minutes of play, the contest was delayed for an hour and 45 minutes while the rain cleared and the field began to dry.
When play resumed, it was Navy that took control of the game, scoring twice in the first half and then adding another early in the second to stake a 3-0 lead. The Ospreys got on the board in the 55th minute and after Navy answered just 34 seconds later, North Florida scored back-to-back goals to pull within 4-3.
Twelve minutes later, Navy responded with Soellner's second of the day to finally put the game out of reach.
"It was a great effort against a quality team in North Florida and they have some great players," head coach Carin Gabarra said. "We still need to fine-tune some things and we got away from our game plan a little bit. We gave up some chances that we would not have if we had been better organized.
"But we are very happy to win our first two road games of the year. We rebounded when we needed to and continued to push forward. Also, our forwards have been great at generating chances for us."
Dankanich scored Navy's first goal in the 28th minute, knocking in a rebound off of junior forward Paloma Perez's (Mobile, Ala.) shot that clanged off the crossbar. It was Perez's team-leading fifth assist of the year.
The Mids got their second goal in similar fashion in the 36th minute. Sophomore defender Julie Schumacher
(Plantation, Fla.) sent a corner kick into the box that freshman midfielder Kaylie Davidson
(Oceanside, Calif.) headed towards net. Just like Perez's attempt, it hit the crossbar and came back down into the box where sophomore defender Jade Seabrook
(St. Paris, Ohio) knocked it in.
The Mids continued their first half dominance this season, taking the 2-0 lead into halftime. Navy has outscored its opponents in the first half, 9-1.
Navy increased its lead to 3-0 in the 50th minute when Dankanich scored her second of the game after taking a nice feed from Soellner through the North Florida defense and then sliding the ball past Osprey keeper Rachel Beninati. Dankanich also scored two goals in Navy's win over George Mason on Monday.
North Florida's Keara Murphy bended a corner kick into the net in the 55th minute to give the Ospreys their first goal.
Navy then responded just 34 seconds later when Soellner ripped a long shot from 25 yards out that slipped past Beninati for her first goal of the day. Soellner scored in all three of Navy's games this week.
Less than three minutes later, Navy was whistled for a foul in its own penalty box. North Florida's Carolina Lencina stepped up for the penalty kick and shot to the left corner. Navy goalkeeper Elizabeth Hoerner (Lititz, Pa.) dove and got both hands on the ball, but it slipped through and trickled over the goal line.
The Ospreys then pulled within one at 4-3 in the 66th minute after Michelle Larrinaga knocked in a loose ball following a corner kick.
Soellner then put the game out of reach in the 78th minute with her second goal of the day. Schumacher sent a long pass ahead to Soellner, who controlled it and took a high shot that went just over the reach of Beninati.
Soellner registered her first career multi-goal game and her five points on Sunday on two goals and one assist is a career high. Soellner leads the team with 12 points (5 g, 2 a).
Hoerner made a career-high 10 saves, which included three straight during a frantic nine-second span in the 47th minute.
North Florida outshot Navy, 22-13, and held a 14-9 edge in shots on goal. North Florida also took nine corner kicks, compared to Navy's four.
With five straight wins, Navy has already matched its longest winning streak of the 2011 season.
Gabarra moved past former Navy men's coach Glenn Warner (1946-75) as the all-time leader in soccer coaching wins at the U.S. Naval Academy, for either gender. Gabarra has won 242 games in her 20 seasons at Navy and with 248 wins overall, she is just two wins shy of becoming the 26th women's soccer coach in NCAA history to win 250 career games.
The Mids will play their next five games at home at Glenn Warner Soccer Facility. The team will host the Navy Invitational next weekend, first taking on Rider on Friday and then Towson on Sunday.